Berks County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation Plan

In 2005, the Berks County Emergency Management Agency with the assistance of Skelly & Loy Inc. of Harrisburg, PA began developing a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation Plan. Establishing this plan for the County and its seventy-three municipalities serves several important purposes:

  • It identifies the natural hazards that may impact a municipality.
  • It identifies actions and activities that can be taken to reduce losses from such hazards.
  • It establishes a process by which the plan may be implemented.
  • Adoption of this plan enables governments to be eligible for post-disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Berks County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation Plan was accomplished through the use of a steering committee comprised of representatives from county and local Emergency Management Agencies, county and municipal planners, flood plain managers, elected officials and emergency service agency representatives. Throughout the planning process, multiple opportunities were afforded to all seventy-three municipalities and the public-at-large to review and comment on development of the plan. Public outreach activities included public meetings, newsletters, and static displays at community events.

The natural hazards which were identified and addressed in the plan are:

  • Dam Failure
  • Drought
  • Flooding
  • Hurricanes
  • Land Subsidence
  • Landslides
  • Earthquakes
  • Severe Storms
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires

Key components of the plan include the following:

  • HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT identifies the known natural hazards addressed in the plan, profiles each of those hazards, identifies the County's vulnerability to those hazards and estimates potential losses from a particular hazard.
  • HAZARD MITIGATION GOALS identifies and prioritizes project-planning goals, which were developed after completion of the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment portion of the plan. These goals were then assigned a priority level of High, Medium or Low. For example, ensuring safe and efficient evacuation routes is a High Priority Goal, while considering the viability of constructing additional flood control projects throughout the County is a Low Priority Goal.
  • CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT evaluates the County in regards to its' governmental structure, political framework, legal jurisdiction, fiscal status, policies and programs, regulations and ordinances and availability of resources. As Berks County is comprised of seventy-three constituent municipalities, this assessment evaluates the aforementioned capabilities in light of the various characteristics and differences of and between the municipalities.
  • HAZARD MITIGATION STRATEGY identifies the measures that can be taken to mitigate identified hazards. It is important to note that the Mitigation Steering Committee assigned an overall Berks County prioritization for each measure. However, as municipalities may have different implementation priorities due to local conditions, each municipality will have the ability to re-prioritize based on unique needs/consideration.
  • PLAN MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES identifies those activities that will be performed to monitor, evaluate and update the plan at both the County and municipal level.

Download / View a complete copy of the Berks County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation Plan. Please note that this is an 8MB file and may take a few moments to open.

Berks County Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and Mitigation Plan.pdf

Berks County Hazard Maps

Click on any of the links below to view a map of the various natural hazards that each area is vulnerable to. Please note that these files are large and may take a moment to load.